MINISTER of Higher Education, Training and Innovation Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi, said that the shortage of skilled work force has a negative impact on the development of Namibia.
Dr. Kandjii-Murangi made the remarks during the graduation ceremony of the Valombola Vocational Training Centre held at Ongwediva on Tuesday.
The Minister said that one of the biggest challenges facing the country is the generation and upkeep of a sufficient skills market.
According her, there is an increasing concern about the high rate of unemployment and the shortage of skilled work force in the country.
“In fact, skills shortage has been identified as one of the biggest obstacles for our government to reach its economic growth target,” said Dr. Kandjii-Murangi.
Dr. Kandjii-Murangi stated that there is a consensus that the country is not yet equipped with all the skills needed to grow the economy and to created employment that is so badly needed by Namibia’s large number of unemployed individuals.
Kandjii-Murangi urged the graduates to make use of the skills they acquired to make their contribution to the economic growth of the country and not to wait on the government.
Speaking at the same event, Oshana Regional Governor Elia Irimari said that Vocational Education and Training in Namibia has become one of the highest labour pools in most sectors and this can only be because of the dedication both the students and lecturers are putting in.
“I am glad to note that VTCs are now producing graduates that are ready to join the labour force and that are ready and able to compete with other graduates of other higher learning institutes at all levels,” said Irimari.
He stated that he believe that they have all gained the capacity and skills they need to be self-employed and to enter the job market to make the world a better place.
“I want you to be ethical in your future work, lead a life of meaningfulness and impact, and be willing to make a difference.”
A total of 600 graduates has been conferred certificates of competence in various occupational trade areas.